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Hosting a Stress Free Holiday Party

You know those women who seem to effortlessly pull off successful house parties?  Everything is perfect–the food, the atmosphere, the decorations and everyone is talking about how wonderful the party was for weeks afterward?  Well, I’m not one of them.  The stress of making sure everything was “just so” was enough to make me avoid hosting a party.  Over time I’ve developed some strategies to help me through and most of it comes down to common sense and a little planning.  If you’re hosting your own holiday open house this season, remember these helpful tips to keep your stress levels down:

  • Do what you can ahead of time–Select your menu, make it simple and prepare what you can ahead of time.  For example, if you plan to serve party sized (mini) meatballs you can make them a few days before and freeze.  Then, simply defrost and heat the day of your party. 
  • Don’t be afraid to purchase certain items–If your local supermarket makes a nice veggie tray at a reasonable price–buy it!  It’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about doing.  Same thing with a fruit tray.  Then you can focus on creating a special dip to make the dish unique.
  • Simple items can make your house look festive–The holidays already mean decorations that will create a celebratory mood for your party.  A few candles and some holiday music can work wonders.
  • It doesn’t have to be “perfect”–If every little thing doesn’t go exactly as you planned, guess what–nobody but you will ever know!  Don’t freak out if one batch of appetizers were a little overdone.  Just make sure you have enough food that one missing batch won’t matter.  Your guests are there to mingle with one another and enjoy the company of their friends–they’re not focused on all the details of the food and how you’re serving it, etc.
  • Enjoy yourself–It’s a party and while you’re hosting, you should also be able to mingle with your guests and have a little fun yourself!  Remember, they came to see you so don’t hide in the kitchen all night.

I’m including the Fruits & Veggies–More Matters “Entertaining” section, which has some terrific recipes and tips for healthy party options.  The key to a good party is good food, good drink, but most of all good company!  Happy Holidays!

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